Here is the text from the official EEO complaint filed against the City Council for its’ quota on the final candidates for the city manager position. (For clarification, we are not against hiring a woman as city manager but want the best five finalist, whether they are female, male, black, white, hispanic, it doesn’t matter. But, to insist that two of the five be female devalues the position if they are not the most qualified.)………..(Furthermore, we are against hiring anyone for that position right now, giving the city’s financial trouble., but since the council has moved forward than we want the best available.)
To: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Seattle Field Office, Attn Luis Lucero
Date: July 29, 2010
Subject: Perceived EEO violation in the hiring process at the City of Puyallup for the position of City Manager on July 27, 2010.
Background: The City of Puyallup is beginning the process to hire a new City Manager to run the city. So far, the Puyallup Council which is comprised of seven members, has selected a “Headhunter” to set up the candidate pool from which the City Council will select the new manager. Personally, I am just an interested citizen of Puyallup watching the process.
Incident: A public meeting was held on Tuesday evening (July 27, 2010) at Puyallup City Hall, where the Headhunter requested qualification guidelines from the council members of which five were present and two were absent. One of the two absentees (Kent Boyle) had provided one of the attending council members (Nicole Martineau) via e-mail, his requirement for the selection of the final five candidates.
Martineau read out Boyle’s requirement stating that “at least two of the final five candidates must be women”. Martineau then went on to state that she agreed with Boyle and also that there should be “Diverse” candidates in the final pool.
Complaint: From my professional experience, this violates EEO law as it has defined a required “quota” based on the applicant’s gender. It should be noted that both the City HR Director (Gail Solberg) and City Attorney (Cheryl Carlson) were in attendance. Neither interjected to correct the perceived violation of EEO law.
Evidence: The City of Puyallup via the RCC publishes its Council meetings and Study Sessions on-line. This was classified as a Study Session. The discussion of concern between Martineau and the Headhunter begins at approximately 41:30 into the session. The link to this webcast is provided below.
Feel free to contact me for any additional details, but the webcast video is pretty clear as to the issue and complaint.